The Spiritual Battle

The Spiritual Battle“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” - 2 Timothy 4: 7 At the end our days, if we can truthfully say those words, then we will know that we have lived the life God meant for us. Not necessarily an easy life, nor even perhaps by worldly standards a “successful” life. But a real life, full of meaning, purpose, sacrifice, and love.  A life worth living.

Sometimes this verse is misquoted as, ”I’ve fought a good fight.”

But this wasn’t just any fight. This for Paul, and for all of us, is THE fight, the fight to hold onto our faith, to ward off spiritual attacks, to keep our hearts focused on the Lord, and to see the bigger picture He is overseeing.

The fight to live abundantly. 

And we have been given the means to fight the good fight, as Paul taught in a letter to the Ephesians.

“Put on the full armor of God,” he said (Ephesians 6).

I pray that if you are struggling with life, if everything feels overwhelming, and the battle too great, study this armor. Take it to heart, use it, and know that like Paul, you too can “fight the good fight” —and win.

Wear the BELT OF TRUTH. Paul’s belt was battle worn and salt stained, like an old horse’s bridle. The truth held him together, and gave him strength in difficult times.

His battle-tarnished BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS sheathed his torso, protecting his heart. The righteousness of Jesus, not our own, is what protects our lives from the assaults of Satan.

His legs may have been tired from years of traveling, running, walking, climbing…but they were most comfortable when his feet were “fitted with the readiness that comes from the GOSPEL OF PEACE.”

Paul stood his ground on several continents, always standing in the peace of Christ.  Shalom.

His SHIELD must have been terrifying to his enemies, for the broken shafts of fiery arrows and charred marks revealed him to be the victor of many battles. His SHIELD OF FAITH held strong as he clung to God’s Word, extinguishing every fiery arrow of doubt, immorality, and materialism thrown his way.

On his graying head, Paul wore a sturdy, faithful helmet, dented and marred, having survived many blows from the enemy. But his HELMET OF SALVATION never failed him, protecting his mind and preserving his life.

Finally, his sword. 

Greater than Excalibur or all the legendary swords ever imagined or described in fairy tales or history: “the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God.” The ultimate offensive weapon, cutting through everything—armor, flesh, bone, marrow, even the soul.  When Paul said, “I have fought the good fight,” he knew it was because he had taken every weapon of spiritual warfare God offered him, and used them to the max.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” he said, “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Don’t ever forget where the real battle lies—in the spiritual realm. And where the victory is realized—through a relationship with the God who loves you.

[Photo: Doug Shelton, CreationSwap]